Should You Use PGP?

Essay by wesdentonUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2008

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Encryption and cryptography have been in existence since the time of the ancient Greeks. Man has always had the need to hide information from some while at the same time allowing others to know what it means. Typically during times of war, encryption has been important to transfer important messages. While encryption is important in cryptography, decryption is held even higher because once the code is broken the secret is exposed. This has in the past, had devastating consequences giving one side the upper hand in winning wars. Cryptography has long been performed by individuals with specialized talents. Encryption systems are often very complex and often difficult to comprehend. At present the type of cryptography we use has moved into the digital arena.

With as many individuals using computers these days and all of the personal information everywhere the need for encryption standards is of the utmost importance. Encryption systems are even more complex today instilling fear into governments who are afraid that normal citizens will be able to hold unbreakable secrets because of complex algorithms that are almost impossible to break.

Encryption applications such as PGP can help organizations and individuals alike to protect their proprietary and personal information, yet because of the complexity of using cryptography many choose not to. I argue that encryption for organizations and individuals is a good idea, but implementation of that strategy is not easy.

Encryption is a way to make some kind of information unclear by those who do not know the code or understand the language. "In cryptography, encryption is the process of obscuring information to make it unreadable without special knowledge, sometimes referred to as scrambling. Encryption has been used to protect communications for centuries, but only organizations and individuals with an extraordinary need for secrecy had made use...